Jim's Reviews > Ulysses and Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce's Masterpiece

Ulysses and Us by Declan Kiberd
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Sep 28, 10

Read in September, 2010

Fascinating book that takes as its jumping off point that Ulysses has been hijacked by the Joyce industry and has much to offer the lay reader. (Sorry, can't bring myself to write "common man" without fearing I'll come off like Barton Fink.) Kiberd's criticism brings home a number of points I'd never really considered before. Everyone knows why the book was set on June 16, 1904, but Joyce labored on the novel during the Great War and Easter uprising, and so writes with foreknowledge of the world that is waiting for his irrepressible Dubliners. Kiberd's book isn't a guide, and reads like a series of lecture from a wise and learned professor who has been thinking and writing about Irish literature all his life. A pleasure to return to Dublin via Kiberd's insight, and while I don't agree with everything he posits, I think he succeeds in wresting Ulysses away from the specialists and returning it to the rest of us. As William Faulkner said, Ulysses should be read the way a preacher reads the Old Testament: with faith.
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message 1: by Mcgyver5 (new)

Mcgyver5 "lay reader" is an excellent alternative here.


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